Why Web Based Businesses Fail?

‘Internet Economy’ is a lucrative field today, with success stories such as Steve Wozniak and Apple computers and Sabeer Bhatia’s Hotmail. Naturally, everyone wants to get a share of these much ‘touted’ e-commerce profits. However, to succeed in the online world, businesses need to know all the possible causes of failure, even though it seems like an exercise in pessimism.

These are the common reasons why many startup e-businesses fail:

Stale ideas

Web businesses that have nothing new to offer, and are mere clones of an already successful business, don’t succeed. Does your e-business sell a product that is innovative? Is there something completely new about your social networking website? The key to avoid typecasting is to stay fresh. Look for problems and needs that you can solve.

Not defining your customer

The first rule in selling is to know your customer. Some startup e-businesses offer a variety of services and products, not knowing the profile of the users. As a result, they cannot offer tailor-made services for any specific age group or nature of target audience. And this reduces the chances of succeeding.

Ineffective Marketing

The best marketing strategy is a well calculated plan. Marketing is the backbone of any business. A web site that has been creatively marketed without any regard to user acquisition costs might become cost ineffective.

For example, even buying keyword ads is a complex process. A good entrepreneur buys keywords that people most frequently use in searches while having high relevance and low competing advertisers.A common mistake most businesses make while cost cutting, is not hiring professional marketing consultants. They work on instinct, and their marketing plans lack a well researched strategy. This makes their marketing strategies ineffective. So the websites they make have inadequate SEO, SEM, and low virality, which results in low traffic to their website.

Poor web designing

Today, most websites seem like clones. Businesses make compromises while designing their web pages. They use free software and badly designed user interfaces. So, first-time visitors find the home page unattractive and it fails to register in their minds. It is highly unlikely they will ever go back to a web site that’s hard to navigate, is poorly designed and does not offer them something interactive.

A person who wants to use an online personalized gift services will look at several companies that provide the service. He is likely to choose the site which gets the first rule of ‘catching eyeballs’ right, more so when you are dealing with the business of ‘feel-good’- gifts.

Web businesses with cluttered, badly color coordinated websites, which have long download time and unclear navigational tools don’t work. Only professionally designed, well branded websites, with original and relevant content can be effectively marketed.

Given these reasons, it is best to employ the services of a web designing company to ensure significant online presence.

Lack of web analysis

Web Designing Vs Web Development. Web analysis is a process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website and then enhancing and modifying the features of the website to maintain and increase the traffic. Many web businesses design a website and then forget about it; and the resources invested in web designing go waste.Such e-businesses have no feedback regarding their website, as a result of which they cannot maintain a competitive edge.

No Networking

An entrepreneur needs to be friendly and people-focused. It is good to have an extended professional and personal network, before launching a web business.Web businesses that de-prioritize good partner and interpersonal relationships lose out in the long run.

Bad time and money management

A failed web business means that the founders have not managed their finances well. It includes over-spending or ineffective spending. Such individuals overlook the basic tenet of every business- time is money. They spend a lot of time bargaining for small cost reductions, while delaying launching time and other activities vital to growth in the world of start-ups.

The most important thing that leads to failed web businesses is lack of commitment and passion towards the work. Such people may know all the theoretical pitfalls that they can encounter, yetput in a half hearted effort to avoid them when confronted in the practical world. Hence, they continue to fail.

Why Outsourcing Your Joomla Website Development Project Makes Sense

Gone are the days when you had to rely on old-fashioned and costly proprietary technologies to build custom websites. Open source technologies like Joomla make it easy to develop and design websites at lower costs. So, Joomla website development is a big thing nowadays.

An important reason for choosing Joomla is that it is easy to use, and it is one of the most powerful content management systems. Joomla doesn’t just make it easy for the developers, but it also makes things simple and manageable for users.

Good developers can use this open source technology to build tailored websites quickly. Programmers in western countries charge a lot of money, while expert developers in countries like India, China and Indonesia charge a lot less.

A reputed offshore Joomla website development company can develop the website of your dreams without saddling you with charges that burn a hole into your pocket. They can help you build a powerful social networking site, an ecommerce store, a community portal or a corporate website. The only thing you need to do is find the right company for your project.

Needless to say, there are several disadvantages associated with offshore development. The physical location of the company is too distant, you don’t get to meet the developers and designers face-to-face, and you probably work at different times. But the following advantages easily outweigh the disadvantages:

• Pay a lot lesser (40%-65% less)
• Rent developers on a flexible basis
• Expertise in all areas of web development
• Experienced personnel and company
• Talk easily through mail, chat and phone

Definite Advantages of Hiring Offshore Joomla Website Designers

1. Extreme cost savings never hurt. You will cut down the cost of development by a significant margin. Joomla developers in offshore locations demand a lot less money than their counterparts in developed countries. This makes it possible and profitable for offshore companies to provide quality developer at reduced rates.

2. Valuable resources are not easy to replace. However, you can hire a Joomla developer, or a team of Joomla designers and programmers, for your project for a few weeks or months. You can also reduce or increase the number of resources working on your project as most offshore companies give you a great flexibility for hiring resources.

3. Good designers possess two qualities: experience as well as expertise. Indian and Chinese developers have been building websites using open source technologies for more than a decade. When you hire designers from these locations, you can expect expertise and experience. Developers of the same caliber in US or UK command astronomical salaries.

4. A reputed company makes it easy for you to communicate with the Joomla designers you have hired. The problem of distance will not really be a problem. Not only will you be able to communicate with your hired Joomla website designers through phone, chat and mail, but you will also be able to assign tasks to them on a daily basis and get reports on the work they have done.

Nettlesome issues may arise while you are working with offshore Joomla developers. But if you choose the right company, all the problems will be solved quickly. There are challenges to offshore Joomla website development, but if you like the ideas of recruiting amazing talent at affordable rates, you cannot ignore the power of outsourcing.

Need a Website Developer and Don’t Know Anything About Websites? Lessons Learned

If you’re looking to hire a website developer, do your homework. It’s the Wild West out there, especially if you don’t have any experience with websites and coding like me. I launched a website over a year ago and ended up in a good place but it was a lot of working finding the right developer. Here are some lessons learned.

Know If You Really Need a Developer

Before you hire any developer, first explore the possibility of creating your site on a free platform like Word Press. Word Press has hundreds of different themes (paid and unpaid) that offer numerous design and functionality options. Using a platform like Word Press saves money, offers an online community if you get stuck, as well as more control over your site.

I launched my blog with Word Press but needed more functionality for my website than I could get with Word Press, so decided to hire a developer.

If You Need to Hire a Developer, Know What You Want and Write It Down

Before I looked for any web development firms, I wrote down exactly what I wanted on my website – how I wanted it to look and the functionalities I needed. Don’t freak out but it was a 50-page PowerPoint document. I had a page for each page on my website. OK – I tend to be AR about such things and am a former consultant, so it was in my nature to do it this way.

Having the detail was great for comparing proposals. The risk of having such a detailed proposal was that I wasn’t sure if it closed off my developer from offering other ideas, features I may not have been aware of.

Research Possible Firms and Make a Short List

In looking for a firm, I needed a developer within driving distance of Chicago because I wanted to meet them in person at least once. I felt this would help set a foundation for a good working relationship.

I searched online to compile my initial list of 20 firms. I threw out those who took more than a few days to respond or never responded at all, had a string of complaints on Yelp or who misrepresented who they were on their website; for example, displayed different pages of the same website as different website clients in their portfolio, or projected themselves as a bona fide enterprise when it was a freelancer with a full time job doing websites evenings and weekends (freelancers are great for some work but I needed a firm who would be immediately available if the site crashed or had backup if the developer left).

I ended up with a short list of seven possible developers.

Ask for a Proposal and Prepare for Prices All Over the Map

When it came time to ask for a proposal, I was glad I had prepared such a detailed document to give them. It gave me confidence their prices would reflect the same understanding of what needed to be done.

Some developers, when seeing what I needed, immediately knew they couldn’t do the work and told me so (thank goodness). The rest emailed or called with a few clarifying questions and thanked me for the detail as it made their job so much easier.

I was shocked when the proposals came in. They ranged in price from $5000 to $150,000 for the very same work!! The higher prices mostly came from firms who also have corporate clients. They must have figured my pockets were just as deep as their corporate clients.

Check Their References

After narrowing my list to four possible development firms, I spent considerable time checking their references. I did not ask them for references but rather found names from their online portfolios.

I looked for clients who had websites with similar functionalities to what I wanted but also websites from different-size companies – from the mom and pop shops to larger businesses. (This latter point turned out to be a good thing as I was able to talk to not only others like myself who were launching their dream but also to webmasters, with technical expertise, who were managing the website for an employer. The mom and pops could speak to how well the development firm was at working with people like myself, and the experienced webmasters could speak to their technical expertise.)

Once I had my list of references, I emailed each reference and asked to speak by phone. Everyone agreed.

Here is the questionnaire outline I used during my phone interview:

Reference Questionnaire

Intro:

Hi. Thanks for agreeing to talk.

I have a series of questions I’d like to ask you but just want to start by asking you about your overall satisfaction with [name of website development firm].

Top Priority Questions

Do you feel they delivered on the proposal they offered?

Once your site was operational, did you experience any problems? Navigability? Calls for help from users? Other?

When it came to problems, how was their overall attitude toward fixing the problem and what was the turnaround time?

Once the project was over, how was the general support you received?

How close was the original bid as compared to the final cost?

Are you happy with the experience?

What would you do differently?

What were their greatest strengths and assets?

What were their greatest deficiencies?

What are the “watch outs” you would give people like us looking for a web development company?

If Time

Did they follow your “vision” and put it into action?

How did you feel about overall website design creativity and flexibility throughout the process?

When you call/email, did you typically get to talk to the person you needed to talk too?

Were they professional?

Did you get the sense that they were building a lasting relationship with you or just getting a project done?

Checking the references was an invaluable part of the process. I ended with a clear first choice whom I eventually hired.

Find Out How Much Control You’ll Have Over the Back-end

It’s been a year now of working with this firm and I’ve been happy. They’re professional, delivered as promised for the price they quoted and good to work with.

The one step I would have added if I had known better at the time was to find out how much I would be able to do on the site myself. I’m able to make simple content changes directly but not any changes that require coding.

This past year, I learned just enough HTML to make simple improvements but because my web developer has control over most of the back end, I can’t make those changes directly. Instead I need to pay development time which has been the only frustrating part of the process. There are definitely things I would want my developer to do but some of the little things, like putting a line of code into the header, are things I would like to do myself.

These are my lessons learned. Are you a non-techy who’s worked with a developer? What lessons do you have to share?